December 16, 2018

Police Recommend Indictment Against Netanyahu

Israeli police announced on Feb. 13 that they are recommending that the attorney general indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for corruption, fraud and breach of trust.

The recommendation stems from two investigations. The first involved Netanyahu allegedly accepting illicit gifts from wealthy patrons and the second being that Netanyahu discussed a deal with Yediot Aharonot newspaper publisher Arnon Mozes about passing legislation that would have hampered the circulation of Israel Hayom, a competitor to Arnon Mozes, if Mozes provided more positive coverage toward Netanyahu.

Additionally, the police recommended indicting Arnon Milchan, a Hollywood mogul who allegedly gave Netanyahu gifts for a U.S. visa and Netanyahu’s support for a law that would allow Israelis who returned the country after living elsewhere to avoid paying taxes for 10 years, for bribery. Yair Lapid, a leader of Yesh Atid, is a key witness in this matter.

The police are also recommended that Mozes be indicted for bribery in the alleged deal between him and Netanyahu.

The decision on whether or not to indict Netanyahu falls into the hands of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, a decision that could take a while. Mandelblit was criticized by members of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) for preventing Israeli forces when as Military Advocate General, he prevented the IDF from bombing a key Hamas location over the possibility of civilian casualties in 2008.

Netanyahu has insisted that the allegations are baseless.

“Nothing will divert me from my commitment to the good of the nation,” Netanyahu said in an address. “I have not known a day in office without vicious allegations against me and my family.”